Summary: Your empty seat at church preaches a sermon.
1 SAMUEL 20:16-18 “A MESSAGE FROM AN EMPTY SEAT”
A) This text I read ... I personally have only heard quoted at funeral or memorial services!
* It’s from verse 18 of our reading ... And this wasn’t a funeral or a memorial service!
* It was between two precious friends ... Two friends that loved one another!
* They were not homosexuals as some critics would say!
* David was an emotional person and so was Jonathan!
* And when you have two courageous men like Jonathan and David also filled with emotion you
have great passion, you’ve great loyalty and you’ve great love!
* And this is what Jonathan said to David: “Thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.”
B) Brothers and sisters - every empty seat preaches!
* It preaches a sermon ... And let me say your empty seat preaches!
* Who does your empty seat preach to?
* First, it preaches to the pastor! * It says, “It’s time you resigned.”
* “Your sermons are not worth coming to hear!”
C) Then it preaches to the sinner! * It says .......
* “The Christian life must be miserable, look how few attempt it!”
* Then it preaches to the visitor! * It says, “Better not join this church, it’s not going anywhere!”
* Then it preaches to the member ... “Why should I try, others don’t!”
* Then it says to God, “Even the shed blood of your sinless Son cannot make them faithful!”
* And last, it preaches to Satan saying, “Keep at it, victory is at hand!”
* So every empty seat this morning preaches - preaches a sermon, and your empty seat preaches!
D) But when your seat is occupied it preaches totally opposite to all this!
* And that is by way of introduction this morning!
* “Thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty!” * Could I go a step further ...
* Though you fill a seat in some other church you visit, your empty seat here still preaches!
* Churches are like families and homes – you’ve got to be loyal to one!
* Occasional visits to other homes are fine and are well.
* But your obligation is to the home that God has set you in!
E) So our text says, “Thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.”
* The two key words of our text are - missed and empty.
* But there are other empty things that are missed when your seat is empty, and they hinder the
gospel! * Five things that are empty when your seat is empty .......
(1) FIRST, WHEN YOUR SEAT IS EMPTY THERE ARE EMPTY ENVELOPES!
* Empty envelopes pastor? * Yes! Empty envelopes!
* Do you know, in our Lord’s parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10, money was the last
thing the Samaritan let go of?
* Yes, he gave him his donkey, he gave him his oil, he gave him his wine, he gave him his service,
he gave him his time - but the last thing he gave was his money!
A) There are many believers like that - they will give anything but their money!
* The monies of God’s people the God ordained tithes of God’s people are for the upkeep of God’s
house and for the upkeep of God’s servants .......
* And are for the upkeep and support of God’s mission and God’s harvest fields!
* An empty envelope can mean an empty heart! * “Thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will ...”